Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The astounding results of Messiah's Death

Read Isaiah 53.

This portion of Isaiah is one of the most sacred of all.  As one reads it, there is a sense of being on holy ground.  The immediate context for this chapter begins with 52:13.  The Servant, as this passage explains, is none other than the Messiah.  Keep in mind that this was written some 500 years before these events took place.

1. Why did Jesus die on the cross?
He was sinless.  He did nothing wrong.  It was we who sinned.  We deserved the punishment.  But in the plan of God, the Son was sent to be the Savior of the world.  He took upon Himself what we deserved and became our substitute.
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

2. For whom did He die?
He died for "every one" (v.6) because every person who ever lived since Adam has the curse of sin upon them.  The description in verse 6 is that of sheep wandering off, going their own way, from the shepherd to whom they belong.  That is the essence of all sin.  It was "our transgressions," "our iniquities," our sin that put Jesus on the cross.
"He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."
(1 John 2:2)

3. What are the results?
His death on the cross "brought us peace" with God (v.5).  It provided spiritual healing of our sin and the hurt that it causes.  It satisfied the righteous demands of a Holy God for our unholiness (v.11).  Instead of seeing us as sinners, the LORD declares those who place their eternal trust in Him as righteous, or right with Him.  He now is our advocate in heaven, interceding on our behalf.

4. Was His death the end?
So many who claim faith in Jesus still see Him hanging on the cross bleeding.  In John 19:30, Jesus declared, "It is finished."  That was business term of His day indicating the debt had been paid in full.  And, the story does not stop there.  Verse 10 states that after Messiah's death, He will live.  There will be a spiritual family who will enjoy all the blessings of faith in Christ.  The resurrection of Jesus is the proof of His on-going ministry on our behalf.  He is our living Advocate in heaven.
"Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)

The Apostle John summed up much of this chapter's message.
"He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.  He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:10-12)

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